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Andrea Mitchell Reports

Interviews with political figures with host Andrea Mitchell.

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Ukraine 21, Russia 18, Victoza 10, Us 9, Paris 7, John Kerry 7, Casey 5, Philadelphia 5, Kerry 5, California 4, Facebook 3, Andrea Mitchell 3, Elijah Cummings 3, Campbell 3, Irs 3, Vladimir Putin 3, Darrell Issa 3, Lois Lerner 3, Europe 3, America 3,
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  MSNBC    Andrea Mitchell Reports    Interviews with political  
   figures with host Andrea Mitchell.  

    March 5, 2014
    9:00 - 10:00am PST  

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mitchell reports," united front. in paris today, secretary of state john kerry joins forces with our european allies to put the pressure on putin to back down in retreat from crimea. and this hour, kerry meets with his russian counterpart to continue to urge direct talks between russia and ukraine. mother russia, but can the u.s. and europe stop putin's ultimate end game? back stateside, critics on the hill say we should have seen this coming. >> this president does not understand vladimir putin. he does not understand his ambitions. he does not understand that vladimir putin is an old kgb colonel bent on restoration of the soviet of the russian empire.
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>> hearing adjourned. what happens when the house oversight committee chairman cuts off a microphone after lois lerner pleads the fifth for a second time. this. >> you will sit down and allow me to ask the question, i am a member of a congress of the united states of america. i am tired of this. good day. i'm chris matthews in washington in for andrea mitchell. she'll be back tomorrow. secretary john kerry's meetling this hour with his russian counterpart, sergey lavrov, earlier today, they had a brief discussion in which secretary kerry urged direct talks between russia and the ukraine. according to a senior state department official.
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>> united states of america, the russian federation, and the united kingdom of great britain reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of the ukraine. there are very clear legal obligations that are at risk in this, and we're going to talk about those this morning. >> andrea, as i said, is traveling with secretary kerry and filed this report from paris today. >> chris, here in paris, john kerry has a very tough diplomatic game. he's playing all the angles. he's trying, first of all, to rally the allies, trying to get them to hang tough against vladimir putin. here in europe, where, of course, they all dependent on russia for their energy, for less expensive natural gas. so some, including germany, are a little more reluctant to be tough with vladimir putin and to agree to tougher sanctions against russia.
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he's also trying to encourage ukraine, and he brought with him ukraine's acting foreign minister who i'm told recently was one of the protesters in the square. he himself, now he's the acting foreign minister and leading this young transitional group, trying to stand against russia. so what kerry is trying to do by bringing him here to paris is elevate him to give him legitimacy and help him stand up to russia and also help persuade his colleagues that they should avoid any military confrontation that would give putin a pretex to move further into ukraine. and frankly, that is what u.s. officials think is really putin's end game. they believe he does want to take over ukraine. that this is part of his grand vision to re-create what was lost with the end of the soviet union, to re-create a russian federation that is really an empire. they don't know how to deter him from this, and that, of course, is what president obama is trying to do by playing the exit strategy, trying to appeal to
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putin that it is in his best economic interest to take that off-ramp and not confront the west. back to you, chris. >> great report. that was andrea mitchell. she's traveling with the secretary of state, john kerry, now in beautiful paris. anyway, european leaders are reluctant to back tougher sanctions against russia giving their economic dependence on that renal gion's natural gas. now from kiev, ian joins us right now by phone. thank you for joining us. i guess this is one of those very, very closely run affairs where we're trying to encourage the new government in kiev but also discourage them from overplaying their hand. >> that's right. well, the last thing i think the western governments want is for the kiev government at this time to start to aggressively engage the russians, and there's no sign of them doing that. the meeting that we're seeing at
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the moment in paris, at which john kerry is sitting down with his western counterparts, and also, of course, with sergey lavrov, is designed primarily to try to diffuse some of the tension, but the question is whether lavrov is speaking the same language as his western counterpart. only hours before the meeting when he met with the spanish foreign minister, he said he couldn't do anything about the troops in crimea because they weren't russian soldiers and insisted they were some sort of self-defense force who couldn't be ordered around by moscow. so a key thing. what we did see today from europe with this $15 billion aid program promised, linked, of course, to an imf deal, that again, priority being to try and bail out the ukrainian economy, to put it back on an even footing. the priority for the western powers. because at the moment in the words of the finance ministry
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here, the coffers are empty. there's no money in the ukrainian treasury. it's about stabilizing ukraine and about at this point, keeping them calm while the western powers work on calming down the russians, if you like, chris. >> you know, i go back to 1961 in august, when khrushchev put up the wall in berlin separating east and west berlin. kennedy saw it with relief. he said better a wall than a war because it was better the soviets did that on behalf of their clients in east berlin and east germany than to go to war and close down west berlin all together. in this case, i'm trying to see what a reasonable decision by putin would be. was the decision to put these ununiformed troops into crimea a more modest step, a less aggressive step, than something more dramatic like seizing all of eastern your crane? is there a hope here? i would like to have a hope that he is retrained and he will be more restrained in the future
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rather than this notion this is just an escalating effort to somehow grab real political control of ukraine. >> i think it could have been worse. i think in the case of crimea, there were a lot of russian troops there already. don't forget, that's the home of the black sea fleet. it's very ethnically russian. it was a clinical thing to do, and quite an easy thing to do in many respects, and does it peer to have been well planned. what is much tougher would be for russia to try to annex parts of russian-speaking east ukraine. that would be an altogether messier, more difficult, and a step that would be more fiercely opposed. i think at the moment, that doesn't look like it's on the cards. and the actions of the russians in cityies, where there are groups of pro-russians stirring things up, looks at the moment
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like it's primarily about making life uncomfortable, as uncomfortable as possible for the ukrainian government. and gaining more leverage than it does at this stage as a precursor to sending troops in there. so yes, in a sense, it could have been worse. but certainly, in the eyes of the ukrainian government, they have real concern that russia may try to grab parts of russian-speaking eastern ukraine, although i should add, having just been there, that even among those russian speakers, many we spoke to who feel uncomfortable about developments here in kiev, and suspicious of the influence of hard-line nationalists, they would not all together welcome the russians coming in either. >> i have read that, yes. that's interesting. so their loyalties to their ethnesty and their language doesn't necessarily transfer to a betrayal of their sovereignty? >> that's right, chris. don't forget, those areas in east ukraine give strong backing
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to ukrainian independence back in 1992. and we did a little -- little poll, we jumped on an old trolley bus, an old tram, and we traveled across par kiev, and we spoke to people and we found if there was one unifying theme, it was that people were worried. they were concerned. they were rattled by what was going on. we only found one person who said, yes, send in the russian troops. i think that would help us all. they were very worried. that was overriding. but they didn't see the solution as the russians coming riding to their help. even one of those who was really critical of what he saw as hard-line nationalists coming to power in kiev says we're ukrainian. we should find a ukrainian solution to this. i think that it's a complicated situation in the east. and suspicion of kiev doesn't necessarily translate into
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welcoming vladimir putin with open arms. >> well, ian, congratulations on that reporting. i love it when i have gotten out there and done that sort of footwork of doing your own polling. it's amazing how much you can get a real sense of confidence about people really are if you go door to door with people. thank you so much. ian williams in kiev. thank you so much for that reporting. coming up, how's putin's land grab playing stateside. defense secretary chuck hagel got an earful on capitol hill earlier today. >> mr. putin denies there are troops in russia. when mr. lavrov says today that they can't withdraw russian troops because there are no -- no russian troops in crimea, does that have some echoes to you of cold war? >> well, i think secretary kerry addressed this pretty clearly. in his comments. specifically about your point. about no evidence -- >> i was asking for your view,
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sir. >> i agree with secretary kerry. >> which is? >> he laid it all out about we don't accept anything that president putin said as fact about why they had to protect the so-called ethnic minority in crimea. [ fishing rod casting line, marching band playing ] [ male announcer ] the rhythm of life. [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it in your heart. [ basketball bouncing ] heart healthy. [ m'm... ] great taste. [ tapping ] sounds good.
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if you will sit down and allow me to ask the question, i am a member of a congress of the united states of america. i am tired of this. we have members over here, each who represent 700,000 people. you cannot just have a one-sided investigation. there is absolutely something
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wrong with that and there's absolutely un-american. >> that was elijah cummings, of course, running out of patience with house oversight committee chairman darrell issa after the chairman abruptly ended the herring and cut off cummings' mike. this after lois lerner pled the fifth amendment for a second time in that tea party targeting hearing. we have a political reporter with the washington post. and casey covering news. malika, you're giving me the unclear face. i'm not sure what you're thinking. now you're spimiling. i worked on the hill, i covered the hill, and i have never seen a guy of even temper, i must say, like elijah cummings who is so controlled, so professional. something snapped. what do you think it was? >> you know, he clearly had it up to -- you know, up to here in terms of the treatment that he was receiving. i think the thing here is, right, when you're on capitol
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hill, the majority rules. even though you had cummings there say this was un-american, that's sort of how it works. they can call people who they want to call. they can adjourn these hearings when they want. but i think what you have seen in a lot of these instances is even though the majority has gone out here and often had these hearings, and sometimes they have been staged for political reasons, obviously, there's an investigation going on as well. in a lot of instances, the people on the other side of those hearings have really pushed back. you saw the same thing with eric holder, he had a run-in with darrell issa as well, and essentially said the same thing. i'm the attorney general. you'll respect me. it hasn't always worked out very well for the folks who are calling these hearings, and it feels like the empire in some ways has struck back. >> well, let me go to casey on this because historically, these kinds of investigating committees, not all of them are bad guys, of course, have been used effectively to make people into major figures nationally. i mean, i go back not just to
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joe mccarthy who was a bad version, but investigating committees are a way for a relatively junior member, sometimes, to become a major national figure. darrell issa wanted to be a senator from california. he wanted a much bigger job. he spent a lot of money getting that job, he didn't get it. when he took this position, it was clear -- by the way, watch the staff guy calling him over like a puppy dog, come on over here, mr. chairman. the fight is over. that was a great scene. the staffer telling the chairman of the committee not to duke it out with the ranking member. i thought it was funny. your thoughts, casey. >> a couple things, chris. if you remember, even just back to henry waxman, who ran this committee not that long ago, eventually went on to lead the energy and commerce committee, which is a very powerful committee in the house, writing the health care law from that position, he used the committee very effectively, and issa, you have seen, takes something of a different approach. he's focused more on theatrical and frankly political investigations. this irs investigation is
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something that republicans are very interested in pursuing, particularly for the midterm elections and especially in the wake of how democrats have responded to the chris christie bridge scandal. they say, you know, the media coverage that's been given to chris christie and the way he may or may not have abused his power is not that dissimilar from the irs and that the media, and democrats are letting president obama off the hook in the irs case. >> well, let me get back, again, back and forth. this news story, what is the substance now of the irs investigation? is this just part of a sort of a broad front effort to nail the president, whether it's irs, benghazi, or ukraine? or is there really some pay dirt that a legislator would find powerful? information they're getting? >> you know, that's what they're looking for. and when representative cummings came out, he said that, too, that they want to get to the bottom of what happened, how to reform things over there. you had lois lerner come out and essentially apologize as well.
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and there were some indications early on that she would actually cooperate in this hearing. i think that's why you saw representative issa get so sort of frustrated on his end because i think he was expecting that she wouldn't plead the fifth. she, of course, did. she did that in previous hearings. but possibly, there could be something there, but i think what we know is there, that this works, as casey said, to very much gin up the base. you have that straight line from benghazi to irs to whatever else you want to hang on this president and sort of suggest that he's corrupt or he doesn't know what to do in terms of direction of the country. >> again, back to casey. the same question. i guess, if you had to write the history of this whole investigation of the irs, has it been leading toward a reasonable claim that there was white house involvement in targeting conservative groups for punishment, basically? >> i think you have seen the evidence grow, that there was a serious problem. i think even democrats have acknowledged there were serious problems at the irs.
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but some of the way this investigation has been handled has sort of led to what we're seeing today, which is kind of this eventual petering out of interest that's flared up again because we have this conflict. i mean, issa's office has been selectively leaking transcripts from their interviews as they have tried to depose witnesses in this investigation. so far, it hasn't added up to a clear picture of what went on. and it's pretty clear that he's antagonized cummings to the point they're not willing to collaborate at all in the investigation. in years past, you have actually seen republicans and democrats on the hill joining together in these investigations and sort of exercising congress' broad powers and frankly responsibility to make sure that the government's not, you know, misleading the voters. >> of course, let's switch to the senate. you were reporting earlier to us that there's question of the possible use of the vice president in the tie breaker on the confirmation vote of the civil rights head in the justice department. >> vice president joe biden is
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on the floor as we speak. they're holding open the cloture in the nomination. the nominee to head the civil rights division of the department of justice. it's a post that's historically held a lot of political significance, and he was involved -- he represented someone as counsel for the naacp legal defense fund that's caused some problems that have republicans accusing him of being a cop killer. so you had senator cruz on the floor yesterday opposing this. mitch mcconnell on the floor opposing it today. but the critical issue here are democrats. the senate did change the rules. they only need a simple majority of votes to pass this through. but senator bob casey, democrat of pennsylvania, has said he won't vote for it, and other democrats who are in red states are also concerned about backing this nominee. so it's possible that biden is here to cast the deciding vote. >> it's a tricky situation for joe biden who comes from the philadelphia area. this is a very sensitive case in philadelphia. seth williams, the respected
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district attorney of philadelphia, who is an african-american, has called out -- a democrat obviously, and he's come out against the nomination. i grew up in philly. this is a very difficult nomination. i'm not sure it's going to get there. thank you so much, as always, and casey, thank you. last night, stephen colbert took a deep dive into the history between ukraine and russia. let's take a look. >> in the agreement ukraine gave up its nukes and in exchange, russia promised not to use threats or use of force against the integrity or political independence of ukraine. tragically, it appears ukrainian diplomat diplomats forgot to call no baksis. christina wilson had a network of friends, opera singers, actors, musicians who needed part-time work, and she had a sense parents were in the market for creative babysitters so she started sitter studio.
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their platform about selling or buying guns without background checks. they'll also block minors from even viewing any pages with gun offers. while the announcement follows a month-long campaign from moms demand action who pushed to have more than 230,000 people sign a petition to address illegal gun sales on social networks. joining me is john fineblat, chairman of the mayors against illegal guns, the coalition that negotiated directly with facebook's official. you're with the group that originally got started by mayor bloomberg of new york, is that right? >> that's right. good to see you. >> good to see you, and it's a good cause. first of all, your reaction to the decision by these great new companies to get involved in at least the beginning effort to stop really bad gun trafficking. >> well, look, there's no question this is a big deal. you could say in some ways that facebook and instagram have stepped into the beach. they have listened where congress has refused to listen. we have discussed before the issue of sales without
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background checks and the dangers of sales across state lines and certainly the sales of guns to minors. and i think what is significant is that facebook and instagram realize that the internet poses a risk in some ways you could say it has become where gun sales have now migrated from gun shows to the internet. it's sort of a virtual gun show if you will and they've taken positive steps to make sure their platform is safer, and i applaud them and i applaud moms demand action. moms are probably the greatest demographic on facebook, and i think facebook listened to their customers and listened closely and changed their policy. i only wish congress would listen as well as facebook does. >> this is such a great old fight, john. robert kennedy, i was reading a biography of him last night. back before he got shot by a handgun, he was fighting for some kind of requirement that you couldn't use mail orders to buy guns. you couldn't buy a gun by mail
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if you were insane or a criminal or 7 years old, as he put it. he said nobody with a gun who cares about gun rights should care. they should care that these people don't get guns. it seems like you're carrying on the fight. when bobby was shot and killed was the only time i wrote a congressman and said you have to do something about gun control. it's a great fight you're making here. who else might join this? where else are you looking for help to stop this mail-order gun buying, basically? >> we know just like i never bought a suit before on the internet up until a couple years ago or a shirt, we know gun sales have migrated to the internet. we made that case in congress. congress was unable to do anything about it. >> can you buy a gun on ebay? >> you can. there are a couple sites that have actually taken down all of their guns. i think what facebook did was try to zero in on what was the most dangerous things here. they zeroed in on sales to minors, sales across state lines, and sales without
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background checks. we know that the single most important thing to do to keep americans safer is to make sure that everybody has a background check, and everybody in this country supports it except congress. >> let me propose something to you. we outlawed machine guns since the '30s, and even the gun rights people live with that one, automatic weapons. suppose i put up a sign on ebay, i want to buy a machine gun, i want an automatic rifle. can you get me one? i'll get you $1,000. can you do that legally right now? >> you can buy something without a background check under the law, and that's the problem. look, a lot of e-commerce sites are now banning gun sales because they realize it's dangerous. as i say, corporations are stepping into the breach. and that's what facebook and instagram did here. they knew that congress hadn't acted, but they got the message loud and clear from moms across the country who said, you know, we don't want guns alongside postings of birthday parties and
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graduations. >> well done. >> and facebook listened. >> good work. i mean it. john, thank you so much for mayors against gun violence. thank you for joining us and good for instagram and facebook. new testimony in day three of the oscar pistorius murder trial in south africa. the former olympian's defense attorneys spent today pushing back on defense statements detailing reeva steenkamp's screams before the death. also concerned about witness security. one witness told court officials he received threatening phone calls following his testimony. constantly putting out fires. so i deserve a small business credit card with amazing rewards. with the spark cash card from capital one, i get 2% cash back on every purchase, every day. i break my back around here. finally someone's recognizing me with unlimited rewards! meetings start at 11, cindy. [ male announcer ] get the spark business card from capital one.
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ukraine where a crowd of protesters blocked the car belonging to an u.n. envoy, robert suri, in crimea. james was there and tweeted throughout the entire incident. first, he tweeted the crowd chant, russia, russia, as u.n.
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envoy leaves coffee shop and scrambles into waiting car. finally, robert finally on his way to the airport. police having forced a way through an angry crowd. a tense situation there. well, there he goes. when it comes to the american handling of the ukrainian crisis, does america have a credibility problem itself? joining me is political analyst and washington post columnist eugene robinson. you have been writing well on this. i agree with everything you say. >> i appreciate it. >> i think it's one of those tricky cases where i thought the president went a little too far last friday. i think you disagreed with me last night on that. john kerry has a wonderful formality that seems somehow appropriate. he speaks in formal communekys naturally. >> what churchill said, it's always better. and kerry has that diplomatic stuffiness down, right? and it's a good time for that. there's a real use for that in situations where feelings are running high. you have crowds, you know, in
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the streets jostling cars in crimea, and you know, the wrong kind of spark can really send this thing south in a hurry. so you need that sort of, you know, formality. >> he won't even use contractions when he speaks. he won't say i'm not. he will say i am not. he is very articulate. here's the question. they're trying to, in paris today, what's the diplomatic mission here, to calm down the politicians in the new kiev government? >> right. >> or to encourage them that money is coming, you don't have to give up? >> i think it's both. it's to reassure them, number one, we're with you. we understand. we're not forsaking you, so calm down. don't do anything rush. the last thing kerry and the western powers want is for the ukrainians to do something, you know, move troops in a certain way, heaven forbid, fire shots
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near or at the russians. in other words, provide an excuse for putin to do more, which one would think he is prepared to do if that excuse arises. >> can you read him yet? can you see into his soul? is he just a nationalist like we are here, with a little more aggressiveness from him? >> i think fundamentally. i think his aim is to have, you know, either the great or the terrible at the end of his name. he wants to be putin the great or putin the terrible. i don't think he cares which one, but he wants to be in the pantheon of great russian leaders. >> i think he wants daniel craig to play him in the movies. >> one imagines he wants that, too. i think it really did -- i mean, we were talking last night. ukraine is a red line for him. and it's a red line, frankly, i think for anyone russian leader. >> which direction, if the west moves, tries to make it part of nato, that's explosive.
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>> that is a real problem for him. >> what does he need as a minimum to walk away from this in a month or two? some kind of co-governance of crimea? >> i think he needs some sort of sharing agreement on crimea, which he effectively already had. there are already 11,000 russian troops in crimea. he had the easement, i think he needs the formal easement. and kind of an understanding that when push comes to shove, you know, this isn't all ukraine's. this is -- this kind of is still part of russia. i think he would be satisfied with that. i don't think he feels he needs crimea to be formally part of russia. >> another great development from ian williams reporting there which i thought was useful. the eastern ukrainians who are pro-russian in ethnicity, their background is russian, they speak russian, they don't want, according to his shoe leather survey over there up and down the street, he determined they have sympathies except their
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sovereignty of ukraine. they don't want russian troops coming in. >> they don't want to be reincorporated into russia. there seems to be very, very little sentiment, although probably some, but little sentiment for splitting ukraine in two, into an eastern and western half. that's a dynamic that's going to have to play out in future elections. but there is nervousness in eastern ukraine about the fact that the country is now being run by the western half, by the half that is more nationalist, that is closer to poland than russia. >> eastern promise is a great movie and also a question. you can't trust him on facts because he's lying right now, saying they aren't russian soldiers. we know that. but what about his promises to sigh we'll respect the integrity of the country, that there's not going to be an invasion? >> you know, for now, sure. but if -- look, if there's an excuse for an invasion, an excuse for some sort of grab of
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the city or some of those eastern cities, i think he might well do it. i think absent such an excuse, i think he would be hard pressed to roll the tanks, you know, up to the deneaper. >> let's talk about john kerry. he ran for president and lost a heart breaker in ohio. one of those states, and that was it. he's had to live with that. he said he's never going to run for office again. i think kerry is looking good. >> yeah, i mean, kerry is really -- i think history will judge him as a strong and effective secretary of state. the man is indefatigable. in the middle of all this, he's also trying to make peace in the middle east and handle a bunch of other krecrises. >> by the way, have you noticed a very observant jewish guy with a beard and a black hat who always seems to be ten feet from kerry? i'm dead serious point, i get a feeling the kiev government wants to think they're
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anti-sumettic and not fashionest. he's been within ten feet of him. >> there's a history there. they have to make sure that people have that impression. >> there he is on the right. i don't want to -- there's nothing more serious in the last century than that issue of the holocaust, but it is interesting, they don't want to be nailed. >> no, they don't. so smart of kerry, though, to take that walk through -- >> there he is again. >> -- through kiev and demonstrate the lie that putin is telling about how this chaos in the streets of kiev. there is not, in fact. >> peggy nunen gave a great tribute to kerry. she used it to take a shot at the president. okay, thank you, peggy, for that thought. it's always interesting. great writing, again. coming up, eugene robinson, thank you. coming back in the battle to win back the hill, one bright spot could be the california 31st. i'm going to talk to a democratic candidate running for congress. but first, the winners and losers in yesterday's primary in
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texas. republican senator john cornyn, of course, defeated his seven primary challengers, picking up nearly 60% of the vote himself. clearing a primary, he's not going to have to run again. no run-off there. in the democratic race, wendy davis will face republican state attorney general greg abbott in the general election this november, after both sailed to primary wins down there. and the bush legacy continues. george p. bush, the son of former florida governor jeb bush, easily won the republican nomination for texas land commissioner, an elected job down there. >> do you give any advice from your dad? >> well, at the beginning of the effort, you know, he gave the best advice. that's just outhustle your competition. that's been the best advice i have gotten in the family. >> how about your uncle? >> you know, he always said texas is like its own country, and i was born in houston, went to texas schools. married a beautiful west texan, and my boy is a third generation, but until you put
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your name on a state-wide ballot, you don't fully get that sense. what does an apron have to do with car insurance? an apron is hard work. an apron is pride in what you do. an apron is not quitting until you've made something a little better. what does an apron have to do with car insurance? for us, everything.
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and a 30-tablet free trial. well, the house democrats' difficult path to regain the majority this november begins in california where a retiring republican congressman gives nancy pelosi and her caucus the best pick-up opportunity this november. a democratic candidate in california's 31st district joins me now. well, first of all, good luck. that's what i say to you. good luck. >> thank you. >> now, according to charlie cook, a friend of mine and an expert at covering the elections for everybody said it's a democratic leaning district. it has had an republican incumbent. under the new california electoral system, two democrats may well run against each other. how does that look for you? >> it looks great for me. we're gaining momentum and i think everybody is recognizing that. we're very excited about it. >> how do you account for the
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fact, for those of us who don't know the 31st, why did you have a republican member of congress if it's a democrat leaning district? >> i think there wasn't anything exciting about the race last time. this time, there's lots of things to be excited about. mainly because i'm in the race. >> and what is your distinguishing characteristic? what is it you offer that no other candidate can hope to achieve and bring to the voter? >> i have been working for and fighting for the families of the 31st district all my life. as an attorney, as a volunteer with our legal aid, as an activist. this is a community i love. i was born and raised here. and i intend to do -- just to continue fighting for this district. >> tell me about the democratic party which you're going to represent if you win. the success of not just the two senators out there all these years, boxer and -- >> feinstein. >> my memory failed me there. how do you think governor brown is doing? he just announced re-election. is that going to help the
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ticket? >> he's doing a great job. we're very pleased with him. >> you know who you remind me of? mike mansfield. the senate leader for all notho years from montana. everybody loved the guy. his answers were two to three words. >> that's good, isn't it? >> that's two words. okay, let's go through this. i have run out of questions. i'm going to ask you, name two orthree issues you think will be debated when you face perhaps another democrat, perhaps a republican, for the november general election. what are going to be the issues that voters should think about it as you see it? >> the most important thing is jobs, the economy. people in the district want jobs. there's lots of ways to do this. bringing businesses in, helping with infrastructure, bringing money back to the community. the community is ready for something different. they're tired of the 17-plus unemployment rate. 220,000 homes going into foreclosure. we're tired of everything that has gone wrong with our district and we want to celebrate all the good things. we have great talent in our district and we need to bring it out. and the people want the jobs.
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and that's what we have to bring back. >> would you like president obama to campaign for you in the fall? >> i want president obama to come to our district to see how we have suffered. i want everyone to see that. to recognize why we need the help in this district. absolutely. >> you're great. thank you so much. thank you for joining me with those great short answers. >> thanks for the invitation. >> remember, look him up, mike mansfield. he's your earlier example. anyway, as catholics around the world today observe ash wednesday and the start of lent, pope francis found himself downplaying his star power. he told an italian newspaper, quote, to depict the pope as a sort of superman or sort of star seems offensive to me. the pope is a man who laughs, cries, sleeps, twankualy and has friends like everyone else, a normal person. this personal humility of the pope has called for the church to be more humble has made him a magnetic figure in the world. he's graced the cover of
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crimea? >> yes, he did. >> i think that it is clear that russia has been working hard to create a pretext for being able to engage further. >> is that close enough for them to try again at some later date? can you tell? casey, can you hear me? >> chris, yeah, i can hear you. apologies. so this vote was kind of an unforced error for senator reid
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in a way. he did end up changing his vote to no so he could eventually -- skooem, so he could bring it up if he wanted to, but you're already seeing republicans coming out and knocking some of the democrats in vulnerable seats who voted yes on this. senator mary landrieu being one if you watch the twitter feed from the chairman of the national republican committee. that's why you saw so many democratic no votes in this case. they were clearly optimistic they could get more than they ultimately had because vice president biden came up to capitol hill, which is a pretty rare occurrence. they clearly thought they could get close to the majority vote they would have needed. and there was a point where it was relying on republican attendance, potentially, because what they did need was a majority vote. if they had been missing enough republicans, they could have done this with fewer democrats. >> i guess i'm going to have to figure out the rest of the afternoon before "hardball kweets why they made this
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decision to risk it all. as you pointed out, to expose so many perilous democratic senators who voted for this nomination at the request of eric holder and the president, to now have to face the ignmany of having to face a murky situation, the extent you can blame him for defending a cop killer. he's not a cop killer, but he defended one. it gets murky when it goes to tv advertising and cheap shot political commercials. it's easy to go after him. why they went to the distance for this guy, have we any idea? >> i'm interested to see what harry reid tells some of indemocrats who took this difficult vote. he's become very, very good at sort of protecting his caucus in both leading them to votes that will help them in the midterms and protecting them from difficult votes on, say, republican amendments, concealed carry law, something like that, things that republicans could seize on and use to win in the midterms. in this case, that's not really
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what happened. you could see some repercussions for democrats. i'm sure there will be a tough meeting or two in the next few days. >> the president had seen his people take a short walk through philadelphia in the last couple days or the last 20 years, they would have decided not to do this. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." andrea will be back tomorrow right here. tonight on "hardball" elijah cummings joins me after the heated exchange. he's right in the middle of the fight in the house oversight committee and the general attack on the president. "ronan farrow daily," watch it, it's coming up right now, and stay with's us on msnbc. auto policies come with new car replacement and accident forgiveness if you qualify. see what else comes standard at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
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